The retail giant Target has lost at least $9 billion in overall value over the last week, following widespread backlash against the company’s debut of pro-transgender and pro-LGBTQ clothing aimed at children.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Target stocks were valued at $160.96 a share as of last Wednesday, which amounted to a total market capitalization value of $74.3 billion. But as of Thursday, shares had dropped to 141.76 a share, leading to a reduced overall value of $65.3 billion, a staggering $9 billion less.
The controversy began when the company unveiled a line of clothing specifically designed for the month of June, which has since been recognized by left-wing groups and many corporations as “pride month.” The clothing in question included swimsuits with “tuck-friendly construction” and “extra crotch coverage,” designed specifically for men who are pretending to be women.
As a result of the backlash, Target locations across the United States began actively moving the “pride” displays to the back of their stores, so that they would not be as noticeable to new customers entering the store. In a statement, the company said that it was readjusting its marketing strategy in order to ensure the “safety” of employees, “given these volatile circumstances.”
An internal email that was sent to Target employees on Thursday was leaked to the press, in which company leadership thanked “frontline teams and the LGBTQ community” for the “care you’ve shown each other,” further saying that “yesterday was a very hard day for Target.”
The email claimed that “today brings more reflection, pain, and the need for continued care,” referencing Thursday as the anniversary of George Floyd’s fentanyl overdose death three years ago.
Target’s blunder and subsequent boycott has been compared to the similar backlash against the popular beer brand Bud Light, which began a sponsorship campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, a biological man. After Mulvaney touted the campaign, complete with beer cans featuring his face, a widespread boycott saw cases of Bud Light ultimately expire on store shelves, thus forcing the company to buy them back.